Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Fathers In My Life - A Heritage

I have been blessed to have my father in my life and I still grieve that he is no longer here where I can see his face, feel his hug, and hear his voice. But he isn't the only "father" that has been part of my life.

I'm a "long-lived senior" so there have been generations of fathers whose presence has enriched, blessed, and protected me throughout the years.

First, my father. What a joy to have him in my life throughout childhood and into adulthood! He had the privilege of getting to know all five of our children.

Sam Lennon Houston

As a child growing up, my grandparents lived with us so I was able to see, hug, and hear my grandfather throughout my childhood. He died when I was a young adult. 

Sam Houston

Then my husband, the father of our five children, was such a blessing to us. Having been rooted with a strong family life headed by fathers who were present leading and loving through the years, I reflect back on how my husband continued to lead, love, inspire, protect, support me through the years.

Jack Hoggard Godley

And now to the present, I have lost my grandfather. I have lost my father. I have lost my husband - father of our five children. But I reflect on how the strength of fatherhood has been passed on to future generations.

Our two sons are strong, capable, supporting, loving, caring fathers. I treasure the joy of seeing them raise their families.

And now my grandsons have married and are beginning to raise their families. Fathers of this new generation - my great grandchildren. My grandsons are proving themselves to be loving, caring, protective, supportive, leading individuals - new fathers, strong fathers, heritage fathers.

These fathers have  all had a faith in the supreme father - God the Father. What a treasured blessing.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

"It's Good To Be A Girl" A Celebration of All That God Made Girls to Be - [Review & Giveaway]

Young girls will learn that they have been carefully designed by God
and that whatever they do in life, they can reflect
 who God is by following Jesus.

My thoughts:  Beautifully written to show girls that it is good, it is wonderful, it is great to be a girl. Also, that a girl can do many things that years ago were thought inappropriate for them or that they were thought to be incapable of doing.

Girl's strength to be and do wonderful things can come from a relationship with Jesus and the God of the Bible. 

I think that this story book gives faith driven families an opportunity to show their girls that God the Father and His son Jesus empowers them to have the desire, strength, knowledge, and perseverance to be and do what their heart desires.

A lovely book and one I recommend.

About the book: Celebrates that God made girls in his image and explores all the wonderful things he designed them to be and to do.

This beautifully illustrated book celebrates that God made girls in his image and explores all the wonderful things he designed them to be and to do.

Girls aged 3-7 will learn that they are good and necessary, how God calls different women to do different things, and how trusting in Jesus is the key to help us love and serve others wherever we are.

Follow along as a little girl learns from her mother all about real women from the Bible and later history. Together they imagine lots of different ways in which we can reflect God's character and help those around us today, whether that's through being a mom or a missionary, a truck driver or a teacher! Secret word: dignity  Downloads - activities 

Enter 2 win a copy of this book.
Begins June 15
Ends July 14 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize copy is provided and mailed directly to the winner by The Good Book Company. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

A Nature Diary Series #4: My Tiny Life by Ruby T. Hummingbird & authored by Paul Meisel

Find it on Holiday House

My thoughts: 
Upon opening this delightful book I saw information on the beautiful, tiny hummingbird that is perfect for the parent to read prior to reading My Tiny Life to a child. It educates the parent (or older individual who is reading to the child) enabling them to better educate the child. Wonderful!

Then the story of this tiny life begins and it takes one through the year as the hummingbird emerges and develops into an adult that migrates to its Winter home and back to its seasonal, summer home. Such a strong tiny bird and such a wonderful life.

I think children will enjoy the territorial contest between the tiny hummingbirds. 

About the book: Tiny but mighty! A ruby throated hummingbird tells his own life story in this funny, bright, informative entry to the critically acclaimed Nature Diary science series.

May 15: Today I poked my way out of this tiny egg.

With Mom feeding him insects and nectar, Ruby T. Hummingbird is soon able to beat his wings and fly—up, down, backward, and forward—and forage for himself. But don't be fooled! This elegant creature can turn into a fierce fighter if another hummingbird tries to feed on his flower—or his hummingbird feeder.

June 21: This flower is MINE! No you don't.

A second test of his strength comes when he migrates to a warmer climate in the fall and a cooler climate in the spring.

March 1, 5 a.m.: I'm off! Wish me luck.

Children will love poring over the bright, highly detailed illustrations and pondering ideas about nature.

The book includes a glossary and further information in the back of the book. Both art and text have been vetted for accuracy by an expert.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Don't miss the other books in The Nature Diary Series!

Each one explores the life cycle of an animal in dated journal entries, showing young readers how they grow and change through the seasons— and offering a few laughs, too! Brightly illustrated and vetted by experts, Paul Meisel's books are a perfect introduction to your backyard neighbors.
  • My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis: CCBC Best-of-the-Year List, AAAS /Subaru Finalist, Leaping Lizards Top 10 Read-alouds, SCIENCE Best Books for Curious Kids, Virginia Readers' Choices
  • My Happy Year by E. Bluebird: A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • My Stinky Summer by S. Bug: A Junior Library Guild Selection
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. HOLIDAY HOUSE

Thursday, June 6, 2024

2 Children's Books Embrace Emotional Support for Youngsters [Reviews & 1 book Giveaway]

Social Emotion Learning with New Picture Books!

Foster and teach social emotional learning with picture books that discuss self expression, believing in yourself, understanding your moods, making friends, and learning to be brave. Important reads for little ones to learn problem solving and emotional acceptance.

Terrible Horses by Raymond Antrobus & illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max | Ages 3 to 7

My thoughts:  An interesting take on sibling rivalry and strife within the home. The young boy is pictured next to his older sister. He wants to be with her, share her things, have her attention, play with her, and be with her. But all of this annoys her to the point of quarreling. 

The young boy is an unusual child in that he takes to "pen and paper" and begins to write and draw a story about horses. It is about a little pony and lots of big aggressive, fast-trotting, pushy horses - Terrible Horses. Each time the boy has an argument with his sister, he writes in his book.

Later the sister finds the book and it moves her to console and pay loving attention to him.

An interesting take on sibling rivalry.

About the book: In a relatable tale about two siblings at constant odds, a child discovers that expressing himself through stories can help resolve conflict and generate understanding. Secret word: support

My sister is cooler than me. 

I want her friends to be my friends.

I want her things to be my things.

For one little boy and his older sister, fights are always waiting to happen—when he takes something without asking, jumps on her bed without asking, even wanders off without asking. And when they fight, they don’t use words: it’s all push, pull, hurt, hide. To cool off after, the boy retreats to his room to write and draw stories—stories about terrible horses trampling and galloping, while he is a lone pony unable to compete or speak or sleep. One morning, the boy wakes up to find his sketchbook missing, taken by his sister. What now? Will this make things worse, or could it help them to finally understand each other? With empathy and simplicity, Terrible Horses has much to say about using creativity to rein in anger, reflect, and see life through someone else’s eyes.

Gray by Laura Dockrill & illustrated by Lauren Child | Ages 3 to 7

ISBN: 9781536235463
Hardcopy $18.88 US
My thoughts:  This is an absolutely outstanding book. Very simple. Very direct. Very caring. Very understanding. 

The child is young and is not feeling like he usually does. He feels off color or "gray." He is bewildered. His mother speaks kindly and understandably to him helping him understand that even though he feels off, or "grey," it doesn't mean the brightness or the other colors have gone away. 

She explains that she loves him no matter how he feels.

The illustrations on this sturdy book are bold, eye-catching, colorful yet infused with lots of gray to illustrate the point of the book. There are eye grabbing (and finger stabbing) cutouts on the pages that lend interest and artistry.

I totally enjoyed and recommend this book.

About the book: Poetic words, evocative art, and die-cuts throughout combine to explore a child’s moods through color—or the lack of color—and offer a reassuring message of love and acceptance.

Today I feel gray.

But that’s OK.

Some days you may feel sunshine yellow or orange-balloon bright. Other days you’re gray, or even night-sky black—like a dark scribble on a page, a storm in the clouds, or a puddle in the road. Gray is when you don’t feel like yourself, or like you don’t belong. But however you feel, there are big hugs (red) and loving lullabies (blue) waiting, and even the grayest sidewalk is a canvas for you to fill with the colors you choose. A tender narration from British spoken-word poet Laura Dockrill and subtle, spare artwork from former UK Children’s Laureate Lauren Child offer a comforting read for young children that addresses feelings of sadness and assures them that they are never alone.

Begins June 6
Ends July 7 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
 a Rafflecopter giveaway  

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of the books to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped to the winner by Candlewick Press, its imprints, or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Can You Find Me in the Bible?: Find the person who does NOT belong in the story by Andrew Newton & illustrated by Mario Gushiken [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9780825448485
Hardcover $11.99
25% Discount

My thoughts: 
I just love Kregel's kid's books. Their activity books (find me books) are winners! In this new publication, Can You Find Me In the Bible? Find the person who does NOT belong in the story, children will need to pay close attention to details and it is a good way to differentiate characters in a variety of Bible stories.

Example: on the pages for Noah and the Ark, Daniel (you know, Daniel in the Lion's Den) is asking you to find folks and critters. And can you find Daniel. Daniel does NOT belong in NOAH'S story! You'll see Noah and you can find Daniel as well.

Lots of fun. This is a hard cover and not an "activity" book that is done 'n done. You can save this for multiple children to use through the years. 

I just love it and I highly recommend.

About the book: Kids six and up will enjoy this search-and-find challenge!

This fun seek-and-find book includes twelve Bible scenes from the Old and New Testaments and introduces children to some of the most well-known Bible stories and characters. In a fun twist, children will not only be looking for important objects in the scenes, but also for misplaced people! Each story is told by a famous Bible character from another story that somehow ended up in the wrong place. This makes for fun moments as the characters (and readers) try to figure out where they are.

Begins June 5
Ends July 1 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.

DISCLOSURE: Secret word: find - I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and sent directly to the winner by Kregel Publishing or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Monday, June 3, 2024

The Princess and the Kiss: A Story of God's Gift of Purity by Jennie Bishop [Review & Giveaway]


The Princess and The Kiss
25th Anniversary Edition

My thoughts: Originally published in 2000, this fairy tale styled story is a charming way to teach the value of keeping one's purity and saving one's special "first kiss" for one's spouse. In this story's case, the princess saves her first kiss for a special young man.

The Princess seeks to resist the temptation posed by the strong, the rich, the good looking young men and sees that what they have to offer would not endure.

Sweet, old-time illustrations fit the story of a typically medieval period Princess and her hope to pursue a loving marriage.

The idea is teaching a child to save their purity for marriage. Nicely told for those moments a parent wishes to help a child know the value of themselves. The story will be an encouragement to parents to guide their children to live pure lives.

This will not appeal to all audiences as this is Biblically motivated. It is a fairy-tale type of story and is not a Biblical presentation. The motivation and ideas expressed are intended to be Biblically based.

👑 👑👑 

About the book: The enchanting story of The Princess & the Kiss begins when a loving king and queen present their newborn daughter with a gift from God—her first kiss—to keep or give away. As the young girl grows to maturity, she wisely waits for a man who is worthy of her precious gift. Looking past suitors who would try to dazzle her with riches or clever feats with little substance, she looks for the depth of a man’s heart. Where is her prince and how will she ever find him? The surprising answer in this marvelous parable will touch the heart of parent and child alike.

The Princess and the Kiss beautifully portrays the ageless message that “love…comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5, NIV)

Whether given as a gift or used as a teaching resource, this book will help children understand the value of a pure heart. 


With a 30% Discount - use KISS30SAVE
 Go to during the month of June when you order from the link on the landing page.


Enter to win a copy of The Princess and The Kiss -  
Ends June 29

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaway is hosted by Blessed Freebies & ends June 29. Chat With Vera is not responsible for prize or distribution of said prize.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Toward the Dawn (Western Light, 2) by Mary Connealy [Giveaway]

Buy @ BakerBookHouse
Prerelease 40% Discount
Plus Free Shipping

Despite trials that threaten their path forward, hope dawns for a future filled with love.

Kat Wadsworth and Sebastian Jones never imagined their lives would entwine so closely. Forced to flee on a wagon train from a vengeful uncle and an unknown gunman, they live in a hidden canyon with the family that rescued them. But as the days turn into months, they each have separate reasons for wanting to move back to society, and the best way to the independence they desperately crave might be through a marriage of convenience. Secret word: historical

However, settling into their homestead in Cheyenne, Wyoming, reveals a different reality for Kat. Her new husband becomes consumed by his inventions, leaving her feeling lonely and isolated. And just when they think they've left the danger behind, a mysterious attacker lurks in the shadows, threatening the new life they've built. Together, they must confront the perils from their pasts to forge a future with hope and the prospect of love.

My review of Book 1 in the Western Light series: Chasing the Horizon

Watch for Vera's review, soon!

Begins June 1
Ends July 1 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and mailed directly to the winner by author, publisher, or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.